Writer’s childhood in Havering inspires book

13:01 12 April 2014

Sheila Norton grew up in Havering in the 60s and has now set her latest book in the borough.

Sheila Norton grew up in Havering in the 60s and has now set her latest book in the borough.


A writer has published a novel about growing up in 1960s Havering in a world of changing fashion, music – and violence.

Sheila Norton, 64, now living in Chelmsford, spent her youth in the borough and has used these memories as inspiration for her latest novel, Yesterday.

She said: “I have written novels but they were all contemporary rom-coms. This time I wanted to try something a little different and since I grew up in the 60s, it is a time I know very well.”


The plot centres around the feisty female lead, Cathy Ferguson, who is caught up in a violent outburst between mods and rockers.

Tensions between groups of warring teens resulted in hundreds of arrests in Clacton in 1964.

However, it is only when she is a middle-aged journalist that she is asked to relive those memories.

Sheila said: “I always thought of myself as a mod. I was only 14 and still at school so wasn’t really part of the group but I liked the way they dressed, their music and Cathy is the same way.”

Sheila spent most of her youth in Ardleigh Green, Hornchurch, attending Romford County High School, now Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls, in Brentwood Road, Romford. It was then Sheila started to develop her love for writing.

She said: “What I remember most is probably Romford Market when it was still a cattle market, seeing it filled with cows and sheep, and the brewery smelling of malted barley and wheat.”

Sheila added: “Your teenage years is the period you often go back to when you’re older and the sixties in particular was extraordinary.”

Yesterday is being released on Thursday first as a Kindle edition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the feud.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Fly-tipping in Little Gerpins Lane

Fly-tippers blocked Little Gerpins Lane, in Upminster, with rubbish, just one minute away from Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre.

Police are appealing for information

A terrifying late-night attack left two teenagers in hospital after they were hit by a car and then assaulted by three men who got out of it.

View of London City Airport from the sky Picture: Andrew Holt

Campaign groups have expressed their opposition to the decision to allow a 30per cent increase in planes to fly over parts of Havering.

Elm Park Merry Minon Christmas celebration. Elexis Woodhall, seven with minons

Minions worked to ensure festive fun was had by all in Elm Park on Friday.

The Rubettes Featuring Alan Williams

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as the nights get darker, gifts are being bought and the radio is full of classic hits.

Junior doctors have voted in favour of strike action (Pic:PA)

Junior doctors voted in favour of strike action over contract changes proposed by the Health Secretary.

Scargill Infant School pupils with K-9 staff

Animal-loving youngsters were taught how to look after their pets when a dog rescue charity visited their school.

Queen's Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford

Medical staff working in Havering and Redbridge were the victims of more than 400 physical assaults over the past 12 months.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder